2011 wasn't all bad, infact there were lots of good things too. Here we go with our yearly round up of Hats:

The biggest release of the year was without a doubt Bambeanies.

It was a first for me in a number of ways: it had the biggest budget I'd ever allowed a book; it had the first illustrated tutorials (compared to the regular photographic ones) thanks to the help of Cindy Moore. It had 3 rounds of tech editing by 2 different tech editors - Heather Murray and Tana Pageler - and was also copy edited by Jen Arnall-Culliford. Further more, we had the widest range of models I've used to date - all wonderful 3 year olds - who really pushed me when it came to crowd control and catching that elusive moment on the camera!

Each pattern as always was test knitted in as many sizes as we could manage, and I can't thank my test knitters enough for their help. Special thanks go to Clair, Helen, Jean, Liz, Lynn, Mary, Pat, Sarah, Sarah, Tracy and Yvonne for being such a great team and providing such helpful feedback.

It also pushed me with other skills beyond the camera: each pattern has a schematic, which is unusual for Hats, but I wanted to give the book that extra something, so taught myself new ways of drawing schematics with my software. I also felt I'd grown a chunk with layout skills, as there's a few little layout effects in there I'm rather chuffed with. I'm no pro in any of these areas, and this book really helped me gain new knowledge and skills.

Bambeanies is a much bigger book than the previous two woolly toppers collections, WWT and TWT, and is much more in line with Going Straight in terms of scale. It's been a few years since I've felt up to coping with such a big project and although this one run away with itself and really took it out of me, I'm both happy and relieved to see it published!


From top left we have:

Tricable, Ruskin, Pixetta, Damsel, Beamish, Polpo, Queenie, Loopy, Pootle, Aurora, Nupkin, Moochie, Rocketeer, Trullo, Emilia, Bimple, Quatra, Corby, Quynn and Tipper

Besides the Bambeanies Hats, there were a whole bunch of other patterns released, both as singles or as part of book collections or in magazines:

From top left we have:

Alfur, Kilkanna, Jimster, QL Slouch, Rennie, Rubbish Mojitos, Chunkeanie, Tebe Slouch, Corella, Geko Beanie, Long Beanie, Pavone, Naturally Slouchy, Buttoned Hat and Wide Ribbed Beanie.

35 Hat patterns published - I hadn't realised it was quite so many! (2010 saw 34, 2009 saw 14, 2008 saw 24 and 2007 also saw 35, with 2006 at 30). 35 patterns equates to nearly 3 patterns a month, which sounds totally nuts. Yet it never feels that mad...

Let us not forget that both Going Straight and Wee Woolly Toppers were reformatted into new editions; WWT was not such a big job but GS was, and I'm glad I went for it despite the extra drain on resources. 

Besides the patterns, 2011 saw some big news on the woolly front. I made it to TNNA! Not only was it my first time at the show, it was also my first time flying across the pond to the US, so a momentous trip for many reasons, not excluding being plagued by jetlag. We'll be heading out again this summer, and this time I'm planning ahead and *will* get some sleep.

This was also the year when my relationship with ArbourHouse changed, allowing us both to grow in new directions and keep our friendship from harm. It was a big decision, and one both myself and Susan knew was  the very right thing to do. 

Show-wise and tour-wise, it was a quiter year than last, with only exhibiting at Knit Nation and visiting Fibre + Clay and Purl City Yarns. Next year there will be even less shows as the Olympics invades everything, but I will be visiting yarn shops and either teaching workshops or doing the Hat clinic (and I can't believe I didn't blog about my summer activities!)

And that pretty much sums up the woolly year.

And I look at all this, and think about how rough it's been health-wise and then realise that I've done pretty well, in spite of all the not so good stuff. It's a bit overwhelming, actually!

I'd like to wish you all a happy new year,  thank you for your continued support, and hope that 2012 is the year that you want it to be. Enjoy!

AuthorWoolly Wormhead